House vs. Senate
|December 23, 2009||Posted by ITUP under Blog||
The perspective this week has already shifted toward how best to effectively and efficiently merge the House and Senate bills. There is still not a preferred strategy between the conference committee or ping pong, but either way it is clear that Congressional leaders will cut their vacations short and return next week to consider the bill. With such a slim margin of compromise on the Senate side, it will be very difficult for the upper house to give too much ground and risk losing votes. The goal for a final bill is still by the State of the Union, though the process would have to go quite smoothly to make this January 19th deadline.
Here are a few of the major discrepancies that need to be ironed out between the House and Senate versions, respectively:
Exchange: National v. State
Medicaid expansion: 150% FPL vs. 133% FPL
Financing: High-income tax vs. Excise tax/Payroll tax
Consumer Choice: Public Option vs. National non-profit plans
Abortion language: Stupak amendment vs. State coverage opt-out
Employer Responsibility: Pay-or-play vs. Limited mandate to very large employers
The Senate has moved up their vote to 7 a.m. ET tomorrow, giving advocates a well-deserved Christmas present and finally passing health reform out of both houses of Congress! The Spotlight will return next week with limited activity until January 4th.